✓ Profound arterial hypotension is à commonly used adjunct in surgery for aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations. Hyperventilation with hypocapnia is also used in these patients to increase brain slackness. Both measures reduce cerebral blood flow (CBF). Of concern is whether CBF is reduced below ischemic thresholds when both techniques are employed together. To determine this, 12 mongrel dogs were anesthetized with morphine, nitrous oxide, and oxygen, and then paralyzed with pancuronium and hyperventilated. Arterial pCO2 was controlled by adding CO2 to the inspired gas mixture. Cerebral blood flow was measured at arterial pCO2 levels of 40 and 20 mm Hg both before and after mean arterial pressure was lowered to 40 mm Hg with adenosine enhanced by dipyridamole.
In animals where PaCO2 was reduced to 20 mm Hg and mean arterial pressure was reduced to 40 mm Hg, cardiac index decreased 42% from control and total brain blood flow decreased 45% from control while the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen was unchanged. Hypocapnia with hypotension resulted in small but statistically significant reductions in all regional blood flows, most notably in the brain stem. The reported effects of hypocapnia on CBF during arterial hypotension vary depending on the hypotensive agents used. Profound hypotension induced with adenosine does not eliminate CO2 reactivity, nor does it lower blood flow to ischemic levels in this model, even in the presence of severe hypocapnia.